I love Mexico. Not for the obvious reasons, the beautiful beaches and coastal resorts, but rather for the fact that if it wasn’t for Mexico, our future family traveling experiences would have been vastly different. You see, my kids cut their teeth, in a travel sort of way, by experiencing the historic, rustic and colorful country that is Mexico.
Starting when our kids were 4 and 6, between the years of 2004 and 2007, we took several trips to Mexico. On each trip, we would map out a section of the country we had not seen before, fly in & rent a car, have on hand a slush fund for “extras” (aka payments-for-tickets-while-traveling- in-and-out-of-Mexico City-that-made-no-sense-whatsoever-but-satisfy-police-officer-so-could-proceed-on-our-way), and start driving.
We would go on the cheap – staying mostly in rustic and often historic little hotels as opposed to chain options and eating at the home cooked local street stands (we were never revenged upon by Montezuma). We would carry throw-away clothes that could be left behind in order to make room for all the cool hand-made swag we would accumulate at markets along the way. We would seek out colonial towns and cities, ruins, eco adventures, beaches, waterfalls, cathedrals and oddities of any kind (the mummy museum in Guanajuato filled with actual mummies excavated from a nearby cemetery a long remembered fave). We looked for local festivities and parades (they can carry a saint through town like nobody’s business). And we would travel for as many days as we could afford to be away– usually between 14 and 16 days.
After several years of experiencing Mexico’s culture, sites, language, people, colors, my kids (and myself) were officially hooked on the whole idea of foreign travel and discovery.
For this reason alone, Mexico will always hold a special place in my heart.
But honestly, it is so much more than that. For when I go back and look at all the pictures from those trips, it is as if my kids at 4 and 6 (ish) are somehow mysteriously still there, forever fixed in time at that age and in that place.
As if they are forever standing underneath the colorful hand crafted banners
Forever chasing pigeons in the historic squares
Forever climbing the pyramids
Forever exploring the wilds of Mexico
And when I want to find them, laugh with them, be with them…
I always know just where to look.
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